004 | 365 June 2, 2011
Today I drove out to Ashland, the Henry Clay estate. Henry Clay (1777-1852) was a statesman who represented Kentucky in both the Senate and the House, where he served as Speaker. He also served as Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829. He is remembered as "The Great Compromiser" for arranging numerous agreements during one of the most tumultuous periods of American history. "His skills of negotiation and compromise proved invaluable in helping to hold the country together for the first half of the 19th century." (www.henryclay.org)
Ashland was named for the many ash trees on the property, and Clay considered it a quiet retreat from the bustle of Washington. It is said he loved to take walks around the estate, and to take his friends along and show them all the different trees. Today, Ashland is still home to some of the oldest and most impressive trees in Lexington.
"I am here surrounded with every comfort in the possession of great abundance, and enjoying on my delightful grounds as much happiness as falls to the lot of most men." --Henry Clay, 1835